DECEMBER 9, 2001
Prost AP05 to miss Melbourne?
ALAIN PROST has indicated that the new AP05 design may not be ready for the first race of the new season. This is not a complete disaster as the rules have not changed and so the 2001 cars can still be used although they will probably not be quite as competitive as the newer machinery. The plan now appears to be start the new season with the AP04 and then introduce the AP05 at the start of the European season.
Prost says that no decision has yet been made but reckons that the new car will be "a big step forward" although there is a risk that it would not be as reliable as the older AP04. In the early races each year reliability is often rewarded as newer machinery can break down. However, next year will be slightly different as most of the cars will not be much changed from the basic machines of 2001 and so it might be a risk worth taking.
Having said that Prost has still got to sort out how it is going to fund the season ahead . The team is currently under legal administration and the team is looking at various options (with the commercial court of Versailles) but no announcement is expected before a deal is agreed. That deal may see the departure of Alain Prost himself from the team.
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